The Pirates enter the All-Star break atop the Central Division with a 48-37 record and a legitimate opportunity to remain competitive in the second half. Pittsburgh, led by the MVP-esque play of Andrew McCutchen and strong pitching from its starting rotation, plans to be a buyer with the trade deadline quickly approaching.
As mentioned on MLBTR earlier today, the Pirates have expressed interest in Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin and Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton, among others. MLBTR's Zach Links suggests acquiring Quentin would require Pittsburgh to part with a lesser package of prospects whereas adding Upton to its outfield would demand a series of quality prospects given his ability and that he is under team control through 2015.
The question for the Pirates becomes whether they will take a conservative approach at the trade deadline like last season or go all in by making a splash at the end of the month with a star player like Upton.